REU in Interdisciplinary Evolutionary Science

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Interdisciplinary Evolutionary Sciences - Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU)

May 20 - July 26, 2019


Program Details

The focus of this REU is training in evolutionary science, with students working on research projects across several disciplines. Three academic departments at the University of Iowa - Biology, Anthropology, and Earth and Environmental Sciences) will collaborate with the University of Iowa Museum of Natural History to offer research projects that span a range of topics, including evolution of behavior, origin of species, cancer evolution, evolution of sex, and paleontology. Study organisms span a large range of taxa, and include: crocodiles, insects, snails, fungi, human cancer cells, frogs, and conodonts. Iowa DarwinStudents will work on one project and through interactions with their cohort will ultimately receive a broad exposure to evolutionary science. As part of the program, students will: receive training in research best practices, participate in career workshops, create a digital exhibit based on their research for the University of Iowa Natural History Museum, and make formal research presentations based on their work. Housing, a meal allowance, stipend, and a travel allowance will be provided to all participants.

LINK to application form

    Mentors and Project Areas (click on links to learn more about each mentor and their research programs)

    Image result for crocodile skullDr. Chris Brochu - Evolution and systematics of the Crocodylia


    Picture Dr. Bradley Cramer - Occlusion and wear patterns in the feeding apparatus of conodonts


    Image result for saccharomyces cerevisiaeDr. Jan Fassler - Evolutionary history and molecular mechanisms of long distance activation in fungi


    Image result for strauziaDr. Andrew Forbes - Adaptive evolution of insect body coloration


    Image result for human skullDr. Robert Franciscus - Morphology and behavior in early modern humans


    Candida glabrataDr. Bin He - Evolution of a stress-responsive transcription factor protein in a commensal yeast


    Image result for wild beeDr. Steve Hendrix - Wild bee community composition in fragmented landscapes


    Image result for xenopusDr. Douglas Houston - Molecular evolution and function of germ plasm genes in vertebrates


    Image result for virusDr. Drew Kitchen - Emergence and evolutionary rates in viruses


    Image result for littorinaDr. Mary Kosloski - Predation and the evolution of snail shape


    Image result for meiosisDr. John Logsdon - Molecular evolution of sex and meiosis



    Image result for drosophila americanaDr. Bryant McAllister - Interplay between sex and evironment on chromosome form


    SNAILDr. Maurine Neiman - Evolution of sex in nature



    Image result for tumor cellDr. Christopher Stipp - Evolution of tumor heterogeneity



    Participants should:

    • be US citizens or permanent residents enrolled at US Universities
    • be majoring in a STEM field (especially Biology, Anthropology, or Geoscience with a Paleontology emphasis)
    • be rising juniors or rising seniors
    • be available to attend the entirety of the program (May 20th - July 26th, 2019)
    • have a GPA of 3.0 or above.
    • have a strong background in science coursework. Coursework that connects directly to topics in evolution will be favored. 
    • have a strong work ethic and motivation to learn
    • have an interest in pursuing a career in scientific research
    • identify two to three potential research mentors from the list above.
    • Students from underrepresented minority groups and who have limited research opportunities at their home institution are especially encouraged to apply


    INTERESTED? ... Apply Here (deadline: March 15th, 2019)


    Questions? Contact Andrew Forbes ( or Maurine Neiman (

    Funded by the National Science Foundation - Grant #15248700